BG Stakes (Grade 1) (KYD)- $1,000.000 Purse
KEE- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
April 4, 2020
It’s the next to last weekend of TC prep races, and an exciting day awaits us as we look to set the pieces of the KYD puzzle. The BG Stakes, Wood Memorial, and SA Derby are all running, so virtual racing fans should be glued to their monitors for these races. Not to mention, there are three prep races for the KYO on each undercard adding to the excitement. Here, we look at the BG Stakes. In 2019, the late Glitter Diety got the win here for Mb Stables, and here is it a year later, and he is no longer with us. The KYD was not good for him, but he did hold on for a little while last year after the big race before form went downhill. 2018 winner, Simple Request, ran 11th in the KYD, and the 2017 winner, Mancini, ran 12th. The 2016 winner, Spring Lover, was the most recent BG Stakes winner to not finish in the double digits, as he ran 5th in the KYD. You have to go back a full decade to find the last time a BG Stakes winner hit the board in the KYD. That was Shanghai Mystery in 2010, a race won by Five Fives. So, if we’re talking about when Five Fives was still winning TC races, that’s a statement for how well BG Stakes winners have run in the derby, and the winner of this race has never actually won the KYD. Here we are then, the 2020 BG Stakes, and we do have good horses here, though none are considered at this time to be one the biggest contenders when we race next month. Will this be the year the BG Stakes winner does it again in the KYD? Well, we need to get that winner first. Here’s the field!
#1- Night Creature (Aer Stables, ridden by N Juarez) (KYD Points: 20, 23rd)- The trainer is going to be well represented in the KYD, so if Night Creature were to win this race, then Aer Stables will be in Mb Stables territory and needing to make the unfortunate decision of picking three horses out of four (or maybe even more) that have earned the right. I make it known every year that I don’t like that rule in regards to TC and BC races, but figure I will attach the statement to a different trainer’s horse this time. This gelding by Brutal ran very well on the grass, before going to the TAM Derby and finishing second in a photo finish with Immoral. The trainer is hot, but this may be more about the purse then the KYD entry as I don’t think Aer picks him. Could be a rested entity for the PRK, though.
#2- Boardwalk (Fractious, ridden by G Saez) (KYD Points: 0)- Spent most of his two year old season running against NY breds, and earned a couple of second place efforts in ungraded stakes. He caught the attention of Fractious a few days after running fifth in the Davis Stakes at TAM, and $330.000 later, he was sold by La Canada Racehorses to Fractious. In his debut, however, he did not do anything differently, running fifth in the San Felipe from an outside post using a tactic (or was a victim of the outside push) he had not used much. Works are good, but nothing is sub 1:37 since January, and makes me think that he is just a length or two behind what he needs to be. Though anything can happen on race day.
#3- Moment In Time (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by F Pennington) (KYD Points: 4, 47th)- For the first time in four races, this horse will be starting from post position nine. Overall, he has raced well, but the jury is still out on whether or not he wanted to be running long, or if he wants to be sprinting. His wins come at races under a mile, and his six furlong works are excellent. Going long, he has shown a flash of brilliance, when he ran second in the Holy Bull. That flash needs to be seen more, and this would be a great spot to start. I wish I could see a mile work to know where he fits here and am having a hard time getting on a read on him as I could see it going either way. Naturally, he needs to run like he did in the Holy Bull.
#4- Sweet Sweat (Mb Stables, ridden by J M Campbell) (KYD Points: 24, 15th)- The third place finisher in the BC Juvenile is on the bubble of making the KYD, in that spot where you are rooting for horses already ahead of you to gain points this weekend. That would be the case if it were anyone else, but in the Mb Stables barn, he ranks 6th. Having said that, if he gains points in this race, and disregarding what might happen in the Wood Memorial or SA Derby, or the AR Derby next week, he could have a chance to be one of the three Mb Stables brings to CD, or perhaps, decides to sell off he opts for that route.
#5- Class Edge (Chili King Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr) (KYD Points: 62, 4th)- The winner of the Grade 2 Rebel three weeks ago is assured a spot in the KYD next month, so here Chili King’s just looking for part of that $1,000.000 purse. This has been a great horse, and probably one that is not being talked about enough. That may be because he took a brief detour to run on the grass for a little while and didn’t start the TC chase until mid January. The weather is expected to be nice on Saturday, but if the KYD is wet (and hasn’t that been a theme, recently?) then Class Edge may have an edge in the race. This will be a competitive race, but I think Class Edge makes a statement here and pulls it off.
#6- Bobs Ticket (Mb Stables, ridden by D Davis) (KYD Points: 0)- Could eventually be a good story, given he was claimed for just $10.000 at the end of January. He had mostly run on the grass, and to throw another wrench into it, he ran on soft turf twice leading up to the race he was claimed in. Perhaps then, Waldo, the prior trainer, never really had a chance to see what he had. Mb Stables certainly did. He ran in the LA Derby and was an afterthought, but you can’t look past what he worked on March 29th at AQU. May be a factor here, but I think we’ll be talking about him a lot more in a couple months as opposed to right now.
#7- Stormin Charlie (Nakamura Stables, ridden by Ru Fuentes) (KYD Points: 0)- At the present time, Nakamura has two horses who can be a part of the KYD with Geronimo and Royal Assembly. With Stormin Charlie, he is taking a shot with a horse that is still pretty raw, with just two starts. He’s never run long, but I do like the trend in his mile works, which are showing steady improvement each time. Like I said with Bobs Ticket, though, I don’t think this is his race, but over the summer, look out for Stormin Charlie.
#8- Deeds Not Words (Alydar Stables, ridden by D E Centeno) (KYD Points: 4, 49th)- Earned some KYD points in the Ruby Stakes at TP a few weeks ago, so comes here on a last ditch effort to make his way into the big race next month. One thing you can say about him is that he is consistent, hitting the board in eight of nine races, and three of them are wins. Much of that is in overnights, but when he has run against better, he has been able to step up. Wish I could see a mile work on dirt, though the turf works are solid.
#9- City Sniper (John Henry, ridden by J R Leparoux) (KYD Points: 19, 27th)- There is a slight chance that John Henry could be shut out of the KYD, but honestly if that were to happen, I think he just buys a qualifier from someone else that only can enter three horses. He could also have three in the race, with all of his horses on the bubble (Orion Nebula probably is fine, but if the chips fall against him on Saturday, that can change). City Sniper seems like he should be a part of the race, with four wins in eight starts. He was great with Joshua Stables, but since the BC Juvenile, his claim to fame is winning the Grade 2 KY Jockey Club, over Chai Morning. Still, that is not enough, but I think he’ll get some points here.
#10- Genghis (Arindel, ridden by F Prat) (KYD Points: 0)- In a way, this horse is reminding me of my own Socotra Island last year, winning the San Vicente, and then hoping he could carry that success into the Gotham. He did not, running 8th. Nor did Genghis this year, running 9th. That is probably where the comparison ends based on the works that Genghis has been running at AQU, especially one on the 31st, which opens your eyes. It’s all about carrying that over into the race on Saturday, and possibly, being a little closer to the front early on.
#11- Grandstand Jockey (Night Rider Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan) (KYD Points:0)- Here is another proven top trainer that could be on the outside looking in when it comes to the KYD depending on how these final races go. Notorious Temper sits 16th on the leaderboard and when considering that there are horses ahead of him who can’t get in because of who owns them, that’s probably enough, but Grandstand Jockey could erase any doubt with a big race here. He spent his early career running on the grass, which got him into the BC Juvenile Turf sprint, where he placed third. More recently, he won the Swale which is often a stepping stool race into success in the preps. Fifth in the Gotham, but was not poor. He can get a piece here.
#12- Masons Day (Gdp Inc, ridden by K J Desomeaux) (KYD Points: 0)- A horse that is tough to get excited about in this field. He has only managed to win one out of seven races, but more concerning was a dud in the Swale two starts ago. He rebounded well, but this isn’t the Rushaway Stakes. Works are good, in general, but in this crowd, seem in a tick or two off the pace. Then, he has to start from the outside. There is no time to lose if you think your horse has a chance, and his presence here has that feel to me.
#13- Cheap Trick (Nakamura Stables, ridden by B J Hernandez Jr) (KYD Points: 0)- Another horse that is here moreso because time is running out and the trainer hopes he can step up in a hail mary attempt. He has not done much to be excited about, and it looks like he is destined to be a turf horse rather then running on dirt. No sub-1:37 works on the main track, but his turf works are eye openers. We’ll look for him there.
#14- Regional Tune (Estero Farms, ridden by J K Court) (KYD Points: 0)- This horse does not have a lot of experience, but there is plenty of confidence with trainer Estero Farms in what his potential may be. Since being gelded after two races, he won his next two and that includes a $100.000 ungraded stake. On March 7th, and just a few days after an impressive mile work, Estero Farms picked him up in private sales for $275.000. He’s had some time to get comfortable with him, and he looks to be the best of the horses in here that I consider taking a last chance shot at the KYD. Sadly, he had no luck in the post position draw.